Antonia Peiris is a citizen of the world now living in Bergen, Norway.
I am a Girl Gone International because…
I was born in Norway (my parents are Sri Lankan), raised in UK, and have lived in Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Sri Lanka. I love travelling, meeting new people and gaining new experiences.
I moved to Stockholm in 2014 for my internship, and the friends I had moved to different parts of the country for work. Being an intern doctor at the hospital meant working nights, on call etc, and my colleagues were in the same situation, so it was difficult to socialise with colleagues outside the work place. Most of them already had a family/spouses to go back to, and I missed having a girlfriend to go grab cocktails with.
That’s when I found GGI, and at first I was reluctant to attend any of the events, I didn’t know what to expect. But I did, only a few events but it was great! I met lovely people, and am still in touch with them. It was a great way to meet other women who shared a similar international experience.
I moved to Denmark for a year and now to Norway, and I have been trying to find a similar network, with no success. I have attended a few pub quiz nights, but it was not the same as a GGI experience. So to sum it up, I am a GGI because of my experience living in various countries, I love meeting other women in similar situations.
Where do you live or where are you right now and why?
Bergen, Norway. I am currently working here.
How has GGI affected or impacted your life or the lives of others?
I made a few good friends when I lived in Stockholm. We still have contact and meet up whenever we can.
Knowing what you know now, about this lifestyle, about the world and yourself. What would you go back and tell your younger self?
Dream Big! The world is smaller than you think! This world is filled with cruelty and evil people, BUT kindness is still around, sometimes you have to start.
A smile never hurt anybody!
What does ‘community’ mean to you?
A group of people sharing a common interest/belief /experience.
What keeps you living far from where you started?
My need to meet people. Scandinavia is a cold and dark place, and I feel that the way I can keep myself from feeling depressed is to be the talkative foreigner, it works! Well, most of the time.
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
A place where you feel safe and happy.
How can you make a ‘home’ wherever you find yourself?
I have felt at home in all countries I have lived in. I always try to meet new people, sometimes dating has been helpful, however that’s not always the case.
I try to get a feel of the town/city, dining alone or going to sit down for a beer at a pub doesn’t bother me.
Once I know what that city has to offer, I plan what to do from there. A few years ago I lived in the middle of nowhere, during that time I found friends at a Zumba class! Learnt how to ride a bicycle (yes, very late) and bake.
What is your life’s motto?
“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.”
Describe your perfect life?
My perfect life would be one where I am happy, and people around me are happy and healthy.